Walton, Thomas (DNB00)

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WALTON or WAUTON, Sir THOMAS (1370?–1437?), speaker of the House of Commons, born probably about 1370, was son of John de Walton of Great Staughton, Huntingdonshire, who represented that county in the parliament of January 1393–1394, and was present at a great council in 1401 (Nicolas, Proc. P. C. i. 158; Visit. Bedfordshire, p. 198; Visit. Norfolk, p. 304; cf. Harl. MS. 381, f. 168, where his father's name is given as Thomas). The family was widely spread in England, and Thomas seems to have belonged to an offshoot of the Essex branch; the Thomas de Wauton, clerk, who was secretary to Joan (1328–1385) [q. v.], mother of Richard II, was probably a relative (Cal. Patent Rolls, 1381–5; Palgrave, Antient Kalendars, ii. 12). Walton's grandmother Elizabeth, widow of Sir Thomas Wauton, married, as her second husband, John Tiptoft (d. 1369), and John Tiptoft, baron Tiptoft [q. v.], was her grandson. Possibly Walton owed his advancement in part to Tiptoft's influence. He entered parliament as member for Huntingdonshire in January 1396–7, and was re-elected in the September the same year, in October 1400, and September 1402. On 8 May 1413–14 he was returned for Bedfordshire, for which he may have sat in 1409–10 and 1411, the returns for those years being lost; he was re-elected in January 1413–14, but on 3 Nov. 1414 was returned for his former constituency, Huntingdonshire. On 1 Dec. 1415 he was made sheriff of Bedfordshire, and on 18 Sept. 1419 was again elected to parliament for that county, being now styled ‘chivaler.’ On 23 Nov. 1420 and 24 Oct. 1422 he was returned to parliament for Huntingdonshire; at Michaelmas in the latter year he was nominated sheriff of Bedfordshire, and on 30 Sept. was appointed chamberlain of North Wales. On 20 March 1424–5 he was once more elected for Bedfordshire; his parliamentary experience, extending over nearly thirty years, was probably the reason, and, not as Manning suggests, any connection with the law, for his selection as speaker in that parliament. The royal assent was given on 2 May, and on 14 July, the last day of the session, Walton declared the grant of a subsidy (Rot. Parl. iv. 262 a, 275 b; Stubbs, Const. Hist. iii. 100). He served as sheriff of Bedfordshire in 1428–9 and again in 1432–3. He was elected member for that county on 17 March 1431–2 for the last time, but was present at a council in April 1434, and was asked for a loan for the French war on 15 Feb. 1435–6. He probably died soon afterwards. By his wife Alana, daughter of one Barrey of Wales, who survived him till 1456 (Cal. Inq. post mortem, iv. 276), he had two sons and two daughters (Harl. MS. 381, f. 168; Visit. Bedfordshire, p. 198; Visit. Norfolk, p. 304).

[Authorities cited; Official Ret. Memb. of Parl.; Nicolas's Proc. of the Privy Council; Rot. Parl.; Morant's Essex; Clutterbuck's Hertfordshire, vol. iii.; Manning's Speakers, pp. 71–5; the arms of the family are figured in the Visit. of Huntingdonshire (Camden Soc.), p. 52.]

A. F. P.